By Ralph Ellis, K.J. Kwon, Tiffany Ap and Tim Hume, CNN
Updated 2215 GMT (0615 HKT) February 7, 2016 | Video Source: CNN
Seoul, South Korea (CNN)North Korea launched a satellite into space Sunday, its state media reported, triggering a wave of international condemnation and prompting strong reaction from an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.
Though North Korea said the launch was for scientific and “peaceful purposes,” it is being widely viewed by other nations as a front to test a ballistic missile, especially coming on the heels of North Korea’s purported hydrogen bomb test last month.
Pyongyang carried out both acts in defiance of international sanctions.
At an emergency meeting Sunday, members of the U.N. Security Council “strongly condemned” the launch and reaffirmed that “a clear threat to international peace and security continues to exist, especially in the context of the nuclear test.”
Security Council members have previously threatened “further significant measures” if there was another North Korean launch and now will “adopt expeditiously a new Security Council resolution with such measures in response to these dangerous and serious violations,” according to a statement read by Venezuela’s ambassador to the United Nations after the meeting.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the launch is “deeply deplorable” and in violation of Security Council resolutions “despite the united plea of the international community against such an act.
Warning shots fired
South Korean President Park Geun-hye called the launch a “challenge to world peace,” while her government announced it would begin talks with the U.S. to deploy a defense system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, which can intercept missiles in flight.
It also planned to reduce the personnel at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a joint economic development zone between the two Koreas, from 650 to 500 “in consideration of safety of our people,” the South Korea Unification Ministry said.
With tensions high, South Korea fired warning shots Monday morning after a North Korean patrol boat crossed the maritime border between North and South Korea, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said.
The North Korean boat withdrew about 20 minutes later, the ministry said.
Such incidents are not uncommon, CNN’s Paula Hancocks reports. But the timing of this one — so soon after North Korea’s rocket launch — will likely bring additional scrutiny to the incident, she said.
Satellite in orbit
The Kwangmyongsong carrier rocket blasted off from the Sohae launch facility at 9 a.m Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET Saturday), entering orbit nine minutes and 46 seconds after liftoff, North Korea’s state news agency KCNA reported.
A state TV newsreader said that the launch had been personally ordered and directed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who was pictured smiling in official photographs as he oversaw the launch, and that more satellite launches were planned.